Adrian Awards 2017
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Entry Title
Seeking Scale, Best Western Debuts a New ‘White-Label’ Brand
Division
Public Relations
Category
FEATURE PLACEMENT ONLINE - Consumer Media
Sub-category
PR Single Item
First Name
Kelly
Last Name
Dalton
Marketing Objectives:
Clearly state your marketing goals.
What did your company strive to achieve using this piece or program?
• Spread awareness for this revolutionary concept and show current Best Western members and potential members that the company now has an option in the economy space. • Utilize an outlet like Skift to help those in the system understand that a “migration path” is possible for hotels that want to be more independent, without having to meet Best Western’s design requirements or brand standards. Also, use the power of an outlet like Skift to reach discerning business travelers seeking an affordable new option. • Help potential SureStay owners understand that they will benefit from Best Western’s history of driving revenue to their hotels and the support provided through training, education, revenue management and procurement. SureStay owners can count on the award-winning revenue engine, superior sales and marketing, and support through the affiliation with Best Western.
Target Audience:
Who was/is the target audience?
Characterize the composition, size, and location of your target audience.
The target audience for this initiative were leading influential hotel industry, development and business travel leaders – all of whom comprise Skift’s readership. More specifically, reach industry leaders, Best Western Hotels & Resorts’ property owners and potential SureStay hotel owners (again, many of whom read this leading outlet).
Research, Planning, and Implementation:
What market research was conducted prior to planning the piece/campaign? Describe the production and delivery method used to execute the project.
BW Hotels & Resorts conducted in-depth research to best understand how to launch an economy brand without compromising the company’s brand standards. To help separate the brand from its competition, President and CEO David Kong implemented that hotels must obtain and maintain a TripAdvisor score of 3.5 or higher and adhere to the SureStay Service Promise, which ensures that franchisees continually maintain their properties to certain standards of quality. To make the announcement, Best Western’s PR team connected with Deanna Ting, hotels editor for Skift, and secured a feature opportunity and interview with President and CEO David Kong.
Message:
What is the key message intended for the piece/campaign?
What differentiates your piece/campaign in the marketplace?
• For the first time in Best Western’s 70-year history, the company is entering the economy space with a white-label brand. SureStay will operate as a separate subsidiary of Best Western. • Potential SureStay hotel owners have three brands to choose from — SureStay Hotel (Premium Economy), SureStay Plus Hotel (Lower Midscale) and SureStay Signature Collection (Midscale Soft Brand). • SureStay was designed to give hotels a “migration path” that want to be more independent without having to meet Best Western’s design requirements or brand standards. • To qualify for SureStay, hotels need to obtain and maintain a TripAdvisor score of 3.5 or higher and adhere to the SureStay Service Promise ensuring that franchisees continually maintain their properties to certain standards of quality. Hotels must also agree to unannounced inspections and some brand-wide standards. • Gives business travelers an affordable and quality option in the economy space.
Results:
Which of your original goals did you achieve and how?
How did you measure the effectiveness of the piece or campaign? Entrants should provide quantifiable results of their tactics or campaigns.
Best Western’s PR team secured and facilitated an interview with Ting and saw an incredible feature as a result. • Skift’s feature includes messaging surrounding the reasoning behind the launch of Best Western’s new white-label brand, SureStay. • The feature hit on all of Best Western’s key messages and shared information on how current Best Western hotel owners and new hotel owners can become involved. • The feature helped spread awareness and instantly generated interest in the brand. Nearly 20 SureStay properties have opened since the placement. • Over 1,000,000 of Skift’s unique monthly visitors had access to the piece.
Please select a budget range:
Budget Continued:
Please provide as much of the following information as possible:
a) Include total budget vs. total actual cost.
b) How much revenue has the piece or campaign generated and does this amount to your goal?
c) What was the return on investment? If this information is confidential, please state as much in the text box provided.
The budget for PR efforts around the SureStay feature was included as part of Best Western Hotels & Resorts’ monthly public relations agency retainer.
Entry Award:
Silver